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Plans under way to replace Dime Road bridge in Parks Township

Chuck Biedka
| Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, 11:27 p.m.
Ron Ferlin, left, of SPK Engineering, and Doug Tubal, right, PennDOT project manager, review plans with Ed Solomon, owner of Ed's Tire and Auto Service, to replace a bridge along Dime Road (Alternate Route 66) in Parks Township, on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.
Jack Fordyce | Tribune-Review
Ron Ferlin, left, of SPK Engineering, and Doug Tubal, right, PennDOT project manager, review plans with Ed Solomon, owner of Ed's Tire and Auto Service, to replace a bridge along Dime Road (Alternate Route 66) in Parks Township, on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.

A bridge on Dime Road in Parks Township could be replaced in 2020 or sooner if PennDOT gets the money, state engineers say.

The 16-foot-long, 8-foot-wide Stitts Run bridge is structurally deficient, said PennDOT project manager Doug Zubal.

PennDOT has preliminary plans to replace it with a two-lane bridge over a pre-cast, box culvert, construction officials told a handful of people who visited an open house Wednesday in the Parks Township Municipal Building.

Zubal said the rough cost estimate is between $1 million and $2 million.

However, no money has been allocated by the Legislature.

Zubal said initial plans call for a detour that is expected to last about seven days.

Dime Road is also known as Alter‑nate Route 66. It will take large trucks and drivers unfamiliar with the area onto Route 66, through Parks Township, Leechburg, Gilpin and Bethel.

There are several shorter routes that local people are likely to use instead.

Engineers at first considered doing work one lane at a time. But they concluded that wasn't feasible because of the pre-cast culvert.

Also, constructing one lane at a time would add cost and time to complete, said Perry Schweiss, president of SPK Engineering, the firm working with PennDOT on the plans.

Ed Solomon, who owns Ed's Tire and Auto, which can be seen from the bridge, is concerned about possible impact the project could have on his business.

“As long as they have a seven-day turnaround, OK,” he said.

“This is a major artery,” pointed out Jeff Shuster, who owns Shuster's Hi-Tech Automobile, along Locust Road.

He, too, hopes he won't lose much business.

“This is progress, and we need progress,” he said. “If it's a safety issue, surely we need to get it taken care of.

“If they can do it in seven days, I guess the rest of us will have to make do,” he said.

“I knew it needed work,” said Thomas Kostelansky, a resident of Stitts Run Road.

He knows of some detours.

Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4711, cbiedka@tribweb.com or via Twitter @ChuckBiedka.

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